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Most efficient way to walk through San Diego Zoo

Discussion in 'United States' started by Pacarana, 25 Aug 2014.

  1. Pacarana

    Pacarana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    26 Aug 2011
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    192
    Location:
    US
    Hello All!

    I'm going to San Diego Zoo on the 31st and I really want to see everything (but mostly the most uncommon animals)! What is the most efficient way to see everything with as limited back tracking as possible (I understand that I will have to re-trace my steps a lot.) I'm planning on starting out to the right so I can see the Tasmanian devils asap.

    Any help?

    P.S. Does anyone know if the armadillo lizards are still on exhibit?
     
  2. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Well-Known Member

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    California, USA
    Make sure that you see the pangolin talk at 1:30 PM in the children's zoo, as this is the only way to see the pangolin (check to make sure that it will be held when you get to the zoo).

    Unfortunately the San Diego Zoo is one of the most twisty-turny zoos in existence, being that it is set on a series of hills, and "efficient" is not a term that I'm sure can be applied to it.

    If you want to start by going through Outback to see the devils and koalas then I would recommend keep walking to your right and go up through Elephant Odyssey to see that and then keep walking to the pandas and then on to the polar bears. You could then wind down through the middle of the zoo to see the gorillas, bonobos, hippos, Monkey Trails, etc. and wind back up at the front of the zoo. You could then walk over to the children's zoo and Reptile Mesa. Make sure that you get a map, especially for the middle of the zoo. It is a hell to navigate.

    If you wanted to take the bus tour it would take you through the basics of the zoo and then you could walk to parts that you want to see up close like the devils, pandas, etc.

    Good luck and I hope that you have a good visit.
     
  3. Shellheart

    Shellheart Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    San Diego,CA
    I go frequently,and I agree completely that the zoo is hell to navigate,especially the area near Monkey Trails and Forest Tales and by the walk through aviaries. My only piece of advice is to get a map. The bus tours can be helpful as they pass by major exhibits and you can walk to exhibits you missed like the pandas,however I don't believe you'll be able to see much of their bird collection by the bus,as Eagle Trail is not accessible by the bus. Also, comfortable shoes are a must! If at all possible,I recommend the Safari Park as well. The Safari Park (for me at least) is a fairly easy zoo to get through,I can normally get through it in about 4 hours and see everything. Enjoy your visit! :)
     
  4. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    Location:
    Melbourne, Aust (ex. NZ)
    The Pangolin encounter, which is obviously highly recommended, is not really signposted at all. And the Children's Zoo area is substantial, so heres how to find it: go to the enclosure with whistling ducks in it. Its in there. Between the North American Porcupines and the petting yard. If you see a Brazilian Porcupine, turn around, you have gone too far.

    I was very keen to find an effective way around the zoo too, and spent ages trying to plan my day. In the end I did all the rainforest trails in the morning (got their at opening) then headed up to the polar bears via the eagles, then headed down the skysafari thing, from where I did the reptiles and hummingbirds and pangolins, before heading back up to complete elephants, pandas, bears, Australia and urban jungle. As I was more interested in the rainforest stuff I did that first when it was fairly quiet. Doing the reptile mesa at lunch was not fun, super crowded. And by the time I did Australia in the late afternoon the devils were very visible (not that I was particularly interested in them!). I think I saw every exhibit, bar one, so I think that worked alright. No doubling back required really.
     
  5. Pacarana

    Pacarana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    US
    Thank you all for the comments I'll let you know what route I took to get through the zoo. I had completely forgotten about the pangolin talk! I won't post really any pictures because there is already a million but if any of you want me to take something in particular or check to see if an animal is on exhibit, let me know asap. I'll take note and try to do it depending on the time allotted or if I'm allowed a tour.

    Does anyone know if the Barbary stag are still at the zoo?
     
  6. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    Location:
    Melbourne, Aust (ex. NZ)
    I don't think there were any on display when I visited - in fact the only deer species I recall were the tufted deer opposite the pandas, which I suspect are easily missed!
     
  7. azcheetah2

    azcheetah2 Well-Known Member

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    Tempe, AZ
    Personally, I ride the skyfari to the polar bears and work my way back down to the bottom...when I am able to. My last couple of visits I had an electric scooter thanks to unexpected health issues and not wanting to cancel my trip. In those two situations, I tried to stay away from uphill routes as much as possible. Hahahaha.